Farm News and Blog

The latest news about the farm and our markets, as well as snippets of day to day life on the farm and thoughts about why and how we grow the way we do.
Posted 6/23/2017 3:45pm by Jesse Fleisher.

Summer on the farm means we are harvesting squash, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, cabbage, and other summer goodies. Spring varieties like peas and spinach are out of the mix until fall, and more summer favorites like peppers and eggplant are just around the corner. Melons are just going in the ground, and we've seeded a bit of popcorn for the first time this year as an experiment.

Worker Naomi Sudo holds one of giant Napa cabbages

We've been keeping busy harvesting for our Saturday farmers market in Nashville (Richland Park Farmers Market), our CSA drop-offs in Bellevue, East Nashville, Richland Park, and here on the farm, and also providing quality produce to many of Nashville's finer restaurants through our local food hub, Nashville Grown. When we have a bit of surplus, we have gotten in the habit of donating vegetables to The Nashville Food Project, which helps turn our produce into healthy meals for those who have less access to good food.

We've also opened an informal farm stand here on the farmhouse porch on Saturday afternoons (2:30-5:30pm), and begun hosting a weekly neighbor/community potluck dinner every Thursday evening.

With summer temperatures creeping ever higher, we've been making good use of our swimming hole in the creek, and have adjusted our hours to avoid working through the hottest part of the afternoon. We couldn't do what we are doing this season without the help of our interns and WWOOFers, who have been an excellent addition to our growing farmily and wider community.

We hope you'll come find us at market on Saturday mornings, on the farm on Saturday afternoons, or consider becoming a CSA member when we next offer shares.

Posted 4/16/2017 9:34pm by Jesse Fleisher.

Transplanting cukes. 2017.

Hello friends and family of Athena's Harvest Farm. We hope everyone has been enjoying our fabulous spring weather over the last couple of weeks. We've been busy planting and weeding and prepping new beds here on the farm. The plants are all enjoying the happy moments before summer heat and insects arrive, and we are all barreling along towards the beginning of the market and CSA season. We've got two fabulous interns this year, and look forward to having you meet them as the year progresses.

We wanted to let you know know about the start dates for CSA deliveries, and also the location of the East Nashville pickup.

CSA Start Dates

For Full Shares Members, CSA pickups will begin during the week of May 15, and run 25 weeks/boxes though the first week of November.

Half Shares will follow roughly the same schedule, but will be delivered every other week (13 weeks/boxes in total). We have a lot of half share members, so we are randomly assigning them to a Group A and Group B, which will get their boxes on alternating weeks. We'll let all of our members know via email and phone which group they are in, and give everyone a schedule of all their pickup dates. Group B members will receive their first box and last box a week later than Group A members, so their dates will begin the week of May 22, and run through the week of November 6. Hopefully the email and schedules we send out will make all of this more clear.

East Nashville Pickup Location

Our pickup location in East Nashville will be in the parking lot at East Park (700 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206) from ~4-6pm on Wednesdays during the CSA season. We'll send out more specifics to members who have signed up for East Nashville pickup.

We would love to get a few more sign-ups from the East Nashville area, so please tell you friends about us and encourage them to sign up in the next two weeks before our sign up period ends.

Tags: 2017 CSA, CSA
Posted 2/23/2017 3:35pm by Jesse Fleisher.

Greetings fruit and vegetable lovers,

It's a weirdly warm winter day here in Fly, TN, but it's that time again. Time to sign up for the 2017 CSA season from Athena's Harvest Farm!

Greetings to those of you we haven't spoken to since last year. We've been busy getting ready to be be better farmers and and CSA providers in 2017.

We've expanded our gardens to be able to have both a greater amount and diversity of fruits and vegetables this year. This will allow us to provide more of certain popular items, and also avoid having too much of the same thing over a period of many weeks. In addition to fruits and vegetables, we also plan to add small amounts of fresh herbs and flowers to the mix this year, and we may experiment with oyster mushrooms (but no promises on that one).CSA basket

A big change for us is that for the first time we will have 2 interns working with us for a good portion of the season, and that extra help will be revolutionary in terms of our production capacity, garden management, and in freeing us to be better communicators on social media, on our website, and in our notes/recipes to CSA members.

Over the course of this year, we'll also be building an improved washing station which won't make our vegetables any cleaner than they are now, but will make our current processes more efficient, and allow us to present a more professional appearance to our farm visitors...

Speaking of which, we hope to have more of you come out to the farm this year, whether it be for a "formal" event like a farm potluck or music night, or an informal visit with your family or kids. We'll also be providing more opportunities for CSA members to come out and volunteer at least a few hours during the season (still totally optional of course), which we find is a good way for us to get to know you a bit better and vice versa. Plus, it's a lot of fun to see where your food comes from.

Our CSA pick-up locations will be similar this year, but with some minor changes:

  • Our Bellevue Christian Church pickup will now be on Wednesday afternoons instead of Monday afternoons.
  • Our East Nashville pickup will still be on Wednesday afternoons, but it will not be at the farmers market. We are looking for a more centrally located church or park in East Nashville where we can park our vehicle for a couple of hours on those afternoons while people are picking up their shares. Let us know if you have ideas (and we'll let you know when the spot is decided).
  • Our Saturday morning pickup will no longer be at the Downtown Nashville Farmers Market. Instead we will offer a Saturday morning pickup at the Richland Park Farmers Market (on Charlotte Avenue).
  • Our on-farm CSA pickup time will now be on Wednesdays, from 2pm to 7 pm.

More good news: If you are a returning CSA member, you will receive a $35 discount on your 2017 share (if you join), and new members who sign up before March 31 will get a $30 "Early Bird" discount.

Finally, there's what hasn't changed - our commitment to growing fresh, healthy, nutritious vegetables without synthetic pesticides and other nasty chemicals. We love what we do, and we love having you as our supporters. We hope you will consider joining us, or at the very least recommend us to a friend or family member. (This year we'll be offering a referral rebate).

Please click HERE to see full CSA details, or skip straight to the 2017 CSA sign-up page.

Thanks again for your interest and support. We hope you'll keep growing with us.

Sincerely,

Your Farmers - Jesse & Athena

Tags: 2017, CSA, News
Posted 1/18/2017 2:22pm by Jesse Fleisher.

WWOOFer Lauren Goodwin picking dry beans

Good news! We've got two education focused sustainable agriculture internships available on our small scale vegetable farm outside Nashville, TN. You can have fun and work hard while learning greenhouse, field, and marketing methods for diverse fruits and vegetables grown using approved organic methods and materials. Simple housing, partial board, and small stipend provided.

City & State: Santa Fe, TN (just outside Nashville)

2 Internship Positions w/Stipend

  1. Field Hand + Social Media/Blog/Newsletter Management + Some Volunteer Coordination
  2. Field Hand + Construction & Farm Equipment Maintenance + Orchard/Woodlot Maintenance

 Position description details:  

WHAT: Athena’s Harvest  is a small family farm run by former Peace Corps volunteers. Though not certified, we exclusively use organic best practices to grow diverse fruits and vegetables while maintaining our farm's soil health and ecological balance. No synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides are used, and we don't plant any GMOs. We market fresh, healthy, local food in Nashville, TN and surrounding communities through our CSA subscription service, at weekly farmers markets, and to restaurants via the Nashville Grown food hub. We use a motley crew of interns (that’s potentially you if you are reading this), shorter term WWOOFers, and local volunteers to grow food and get it out into the community. Teaching and learning is part of our mission.

WHEN: 1 season commitment from early March to late November 2017 (starting and ending dates may be flexible give or take a week or two). Work schedule is 6 days a week with 1 week off which must be scheduled to fall prior to July 15 or after October, plus any “all farm” vacation days we may decide to take along the way.

BENEFITS: Simple room/ farm vegetables & partial board/ 1 on 1 organic farming mentorship/ modest stipend

WHO: Athena's Harvest welcomes all visitors regardless of age, sex, race, gender, religion, nationality, economic class, or sexual orientation. Applicants must be able to work and engage with others in a mature, respectful manner, and be capable of sustained physical work outdoors in all weather conditions and temperatures.

Click Here For More Information and Application.

Posted 3/22/2016 9:56pm by Athena Childs Fleisher.

This last week was a busy one on the farm. I took the week off work and my brother came up for his spring break from medical school and we joined Jesse as full time farmers for the week.  One of the things we focused on is the soil, the building block of all the nutritious and delicious food yet to come. We began our small farm concept with five 100' long beds last year. This year we plan for at least twenty five 100' beds, so there is a lot of digging to do.

 Weeding the Peas.


 It’s fun to watch Jesse combine his experience farming other people’s farms over the years with his agro-science knowledge and natural resources background as he plans our farm systems and organic style practices.

Spring beds taking shape...

 Jesse shows our niece what we are doing.

Jesse and June

 This is it folks… the first step to make delicious & nutritious food for you begins one shovelful at a time.

Jesse and Athena digging new beds.

Click here to find out more about how to taste our food or become part of our farm family through our Community Supported Agriculture shares.

Tags: 2016 CSA, soil
Posted 2/6/2016 8:00pm by Farmer Jesse.

Dear Farm Friends,

Please pardon our disarray here as we continue to customize and put the finishing touches on our new website. We hope you'll like it, and come back to visit us as often as possible.

Stay tuned for the end of February when we'll be announcing our 2016 CSA details and announcing which farmers markets you can join us at this year.

Our plan is to use this website to share the joys and challenges of farm life with customers, friends, and family. We'll tell you what we're growing and how we're growing it, provide recipes and advice, and tell you how you can get our products to your plate. We'll also provide an easy way to sign up, manage, and pay for your CSA Shares.

You can also expect a weekly newsletter, announcements of family friendly farm events, updated photos of the farm, and a produce availability calendar, in addition to other features.

In the meantime, why not keep in touch and let us know how we're doing? Sign up for our Newsletter, comment below and find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Please let us know how you're doing too.

News for today: I observed that the daffodils are up (seems early, no?) and the seed packets have arrived, so veggies can't be far behind! We look forward to growing and eating them with you.

Sincerely,

Your Farmers - Athena & Jesse

Athena & Jesse

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